There are some things that you’ll only feel or know if you grew up in a place. Which means that there are also some questions or assumptions held by every visitor you’ve ever played tour-guide for. First, you find yourself explaining things you’re certain you’ve explained before, then suddenly you have a CliffsNotes version, refined for ease of dissemination and comprehension. Here are 11 things people from Cleveland always have to explain to out of towners.
1. The significance of
A Christmas Story
Set in Indiana, the classic Christmas movie was actually filmed in Cleveland and Toronto. This gave the film a particularly Cleveland aesthetic. Public Square and Higbee's feature prominently in the film. The
A Christmas Story House is a real house in Cleveland which is now a living museum. This has been a source of local pride for two generations.
2. The tradition of the Great Lakes Christmas Ale
You've heard the saying: Great Lakes Christmas Ale comes but once a year. That's the saying, right? This Christmas Ale is released to much fanfare and excitement on November 1 every year. Move aside, pumpkin spice - the big guns have arrived! Faces in bars light up when they see the brand new tap. The addition of the cinnamon sugar rim is divisive, and might require its own explanation.
3. The complex network of rivalries
Between sport teams, cities, and even whole states - Cleveland's got a few bones to pick and a few scores to settle.
4. The weather
Yes, it's 10 outside. Yes, it's snowing a LOT. Yes, it's going to be 50 degrees tomorrow. Cleveland may not get four seasons in a
day, but it certainly gets at least four seasons in a week. The temperature is all over the place, it's snowing, then raining, then sunny, then there's a blizzard.
5. The undying dedication to Cleveland
Look, all Clevelanders ask is that you fall in love with their city and stick with it through thick and thin, or you leave. Basically, go hard or go home.
6. It's not dangerous and crime-infested
Statistically, Cleveland usually lands in the top tens of dangerous US cities. The crime rates are admittedly high, but most parts of the city are perfectly safe. According to the FBI, crime rates are on a downward trend in Cleveland. In fact, the greater Cleveland are is home of some of Ohio and the the US's safest cities.
7. Why there's a giant stamp in a downtown park
The story behind this stamp is actually fascinating. It's a drama of (literally) epic proportions: world records, public art, censorship, grave misunderstanding, and corporate power-plays. The short version is that the company which commissioned the stamp for their own premises was bought out by BP who didn't like the stamp, banned it, then moved it to a park.
8. The suburban dad shorts will be worn until the snow reaches the shin
And even then they might stick around. While most of us normal folk rug up and wrap up at the first hint of snow, there's always that one guy with the khaki shorts, walking around like he hasn't felt a chill in ten years.
9. There's more than just the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame is awesome, there's no doubting that. But Cleveland also has great food and drink, museums, music, art, and more. It's quickly becoming a cultural hub of Ohio.
10. You look more like a tourist if you're
not wearing a 'Cleveland' shirt
Wearing an 'I heart NY' tee in NYC an absolute faux pas. It's like wearing a giant neon sign saying, "I don't belong here". In Cleveland, it's just the opposite. Clevelanders like to wear their city pride on their sleeves. And their cars. And their hats, socks, ties, accessories, and most of all, on their t-shirts.
11. If you don't want to be here, we don't want you to be here
Don't like it here? Don't come. It's as simple as that. We don't need your negativity.
What do you find yourself explaining to out of towners every. Single. Time? What questions about Cleveland does every relative, friend, and friend-of-a-friend-who’s-visiting-distant-relatives-for-a-few-days ask you when they come to Cleveland?